Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


I'm listening to Kate Rusby's newest album- been listening to it quite often since it arrived in the mail last week, and am absolutely enamoured. I shall be writing a review some time soon for Chasing Hats.

I wonder what it is that awakened a love for traditional music in me? Or for that matter, tradition, and the old way of doing things? I can recall my dad forcing, if that is the proper word (we were in the truck together, he driving, and me with little say) my brother and I to listen to bluegrass on the radio several years back. I did not like it, and remember making rather vicious fun of it. Not that I was particularly thrilled about modern music, though, mind you- for whatever reasons, at the time I had little interest in music. However, at a very early age my parents - and probably my surrondings, my earliest years having been spent in the prairie country of Mississippi (where they never got past the fifities- nineteen or eighteen really) and then in the backwoods of Alabama- instilled a deep interest in histroy and the natural world. We moved to a much less insular community a few months after I began school. Now, Crossville, TN, is not particularly urban or Northern, but compared to Ralph, AL, it is, and is a whole world from Shuqualak, MS. It is a much less traditional area, and I lost much of my folksy Southern-ness and backwoods bearing there. When we moved back to rural Mississippi one would scarcely imagine I was originally from one of the poorest counties in Mississippi. I strongly disliked Mississippi. But after a year or so I began to grow accustomed to it, and have begun to love traditional things- not necessarily Mississipian, as I have reached back along my roots further than this continent.

Which is to get off the subject of music a rather long ways. Anyway, I began listening to bluegrass and Celtic music on the radio a few years ago now, and was utterly captivated. I suppose that began my ease into more and more manners and means of tradition, of historicity, in my personal life. I have always had a deep sense of appreciation for the deeds and lives of my forefathers- most Southern lads have that, though it is often vague-ish- and it has, I suppose, begun to extend further and deeper. In a sense I suppose I am almost rebeling- few of my friends of my age care a great deal for history, and could care little for the old ways of doing things. I daresay I am reactionary- I have seen the modern- or postmodern as it is now- and been repulsed. In matters of the Faith, I care little a whit for ireverent silliness cloaked under fancy names and wonderful justifications. And I have begun to drift back quite a ways to ideas and modes no one in my family has held for several generations. Of course, none of that is to say I'm off on some sort of wild desire to re-create some favoured era now long past. That would be madness of course. But I have a strange- I doubt whether anyone now-a-days would call it precisely normal or healthy- desire to be more, traditional , to have my feet grounded in solid things.


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